Watch Out for “Drive By” Websites!

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A new Internet virus that takes computers ransom is making its way around the web and federal authorities are seeing increased reports of the scam from victims in the United States.

Nationally the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it has been “inundated with complaints” this month, and today said that it has received an increasing number of reports from people who have fallen victim to the new scam.

Authorities said the Reveton virus, which has been making its way across the country, has been identified as a “drive-by” malicious software because it can install itself when computer users simply click on a compromised website.

Once infected, the victim’s computer immediately locks and the monitor displays a screen stating that there has been a violation of federal law, according to the FBI. The message also states that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or Department of Justice as having been associated with child pornography sites and other illegal online activity. To unlock the computer, the user is told to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service, the FBI said.

Please be aware that The FBI will never ask a person for money over the Internet.

This particular virus is especially dangerous because your computer can be infected by simply clicking on an infected website. As always the best prevention is to keep your anti-virus software up to date and your computer operating systems updated. This is a good time to check your anti-virus software and make sure it is up to date. Also make sure your Microsoft operating system has the latest security patches installed. And of course do not visit suspicious websites.

I recommend Microsoft’s free anti-virus solution, Microsoft Security Essentials. However never ever install more then one anti-virus solution on your computer. If you would like to try our Microsoft Security Essentials make sure to uninistall the old program first.